Friday, December 30, 2011

Ariffin Mamat, Poet.

Ariffin Mamat (a.k.a. Pak Pin) grew up poor; his widowed mother tapped rubber to raise her orphaned brood, of which he was the youngest and only son.

Torchlight clasped to his forehead, the little boy would keep her company on those dark, silent misty mornings as she laboured from tree to tree.

Straitened as his family was, Ariffin was rich in dreams. He wanted to be educated and to succeed in life so he could help break the family's vicious circle of grinding poverty. 

Born and raised in Kemubu, Kelantan, Ariffin was barely 10 when his already depressed world crumbled with the death of his father.

All his young life, what little Ariffin had wanted the most was a pair of shoes, a luxury his mother could ill-afford.

Four decades and 40-odd countries later, Ariffin is a hotshot human resource professional honing his skills and plying his trade in the international corporate arena.

This Jeddah-based Malaysian expatriate could buy ten closetfuls of shoes, not to mention surrounding himself with material wealth, if he so wished.

Instead, the applied physics graduate-turned-HR expert wrote poetry and self-financed its publication.

His words, in particular the requiem for his late mother, reduced me to tears, thankfully in the privacy of my study. And if you have marshmallow heart like I do, you would too.

Without a doubt, Ariffin writes beautifully. His language is lucid, his words cut painfully deep. He wrote about love, about loneliness, about human foibles, about God.

'Mat Jiwang' to the core, Ariffin unashamedly wears his heart on his sleeve that Pak Abu and I feel compelled to keep Echo of Silence - Masih Di Sini by our respective bedside until the new year rolls in...



Echo of Silence - Masih Di Sini. This anthology of poems is currently marketed online. For details, please click on the link given at the foot of this article.


Team effort. The family setting up booth at the entrance of launch arena, The Oswego, Impiana KLCC. The bespectacled lady in yellow tudung is Aishah Talib, the love of Pak Pin's life.


A copy of the book encased in ice, to be chipped free during the launch. The ceremony was officiated by YBhg Datuk Johan Jaffar, Chairman of Media Prima Group, who also recited a poem of his choice to mark the occasion.


The freshly-minted author recounting his bittersweet journey into the world of prose. 


Kama back in the fold as emcee, but only this once, and only for Pak Pin (did this for a living back in the '90s). These days, the only microphone she cares for is the one in the karaoke lounge. 


Supporters and such, 70 strong, cramming the bar space. Thank you folks for your support. 


The Press Conference...


Featured on primetime news, no less. Way to go, Pak Pin!

A sampling of Pak Pin's poetic prowess:


You Don't Know Him

Like a speck of dust
his soul floats in the air
blown by a sudden gush
his reasons turn into despair
lost in the hour's rush.

He retreats into a loner's lair
no one knows him
and no one cares
no one misses him
and no one's here nor there
all alone tonight
he tussles with the angels
a glimpse of light
flames from melting candles
dreams he weaves, of love he has none!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Here's Kama & Co wishing Kata Kama's Christian readers Selamat Hari Natal. May the New Year bring joy and good tidings, may we continue to live in peace and harmony, and may the Good Lord bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waxing Lyrical on Wednesday




Away From You

away from you
i feel a great emptiness
a gnawing loneliness

with you
i get that reassuring feeling
of wanting to escape

(Roger McGough)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meremang...

Hingga semalam, sudah lama "dia" tidak menonjolkan diri. Saya berkata demikian sebab saya sudah lupa bilakah episod terdahulu.

Termenung saya sejenak untuk mengingatinya. Kalau tidak kerana catatan blog, tak mungkin saya dapat recall 'lawatannya' yang terakhir sebelum ini.

Sebenarnya, sejak kepulangan kami daripada Tanah Suci, "dia" hampir lenyap dari hidup saya. Mungkin sebab saya tidak lagi terbawa-bawa dengan arus hidup penuh kepura-puraan seperti dulu. 

Saya amat arif dengan kehadirannya, walaupun saya tidak begitu pasti "dia" siapa. Setiap kehadirannya akan menderaukan darah saya; cuak ada, seriau pun ada. Yang tiada hanya perasaan takut.

Saya tahu tiada apa yang perlu saya takutkan. Saya terima kehadirannya sebagai makhluk Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, dengan hati yang terbuka.

Semalam saya sengaja melengahkan solat Zohor walaupun azan sudah lama berkumandang. Kuat betul dorongan syaitan supaya kekal mengadap laptop.

Jam sudah hampir 2.30 petang. Pak Abu sudah lama ke padang golf. Tee-offnya selepas Zohor; sepertimana biasa, beliau solat di surau kelab bersama rakan-rakan yang lain. 

Saya pulak (malu nak admit sebenarnya) masih leka melayan Facebook dan YouTube (sudah tentunya lagu-lagu Mandarin yang amat saya minati).

Mata sudah mulai kuyu, kepala pun dah mula terhangguk-hangguk. Sungguhpun begitu saya sedar solat belum disempurnakan. Tapi amatlah malas nak beransur ke bilik air untuk berwudhuk.

"Isyy, ngantuknya! Tidur dululah sekejap. Dapat satu jam cukuplah. Bangun 3.30, ambik wudhuk, solat, dan tunggu sampai masuk Asar. Amacam? Tak payah wudhuk banyak kali!"

Waah, meriah betul fikiran saya waktu tu. With the benefit of hindsight, saya sedar itulah bisikan syaitan, mungkin untuk mengulit saya ke alam mimpi hingga terlepas Zohor.

Tanpa lengah, saya masuk ke bilik tidur dan melabuhkan badan ke atas tilam empuk sambil mencapai bantal buat dakapan.

Dalam keadaan separa hanyut itu tiba-tiba... ADOI! jerit saya sambil bingkas bangun menggerak-gerakkan kaki. Ada sesuatu telah 'menoreh' tapak kaki kiri saya, seolah-olah dengan kuku yang amat tajam. Perit sekali hingga terhencut-hencut saya dibuatnya.

Saya pandang sekeliling..... sudah tentu tiada apa dan siapa di dalam bilik tidur. Meremang roma saya, perasaan mengantuk terbang entah ke mana. Meluru saya ke bilik air untuk berwudhuk dan mengerjakan solat.

"Ya Allah Ya Tuhan ku, ampunkanlah daku yang sangat lemah ini.."  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dalil Wajib Memakai Jilbab - Sekadar Berkongsi


(gambar hanya sebagai hiasan)

Someone dear sent me an e-mail on the following - found it in my inbox this morning - and I would like to share it with you. 

Read it with an open mind. The last thing I want my Muslim lady friends to think is that I'm ramming issues down their throat. I'm not; just sharing, for mutual benefit.

Personally, I find it intriguing enough to reconsider my current way of dressing...

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 Dalil wajib memakai jilbab (in English jilbab means 'overcoat') berdasarkan firman Allah:

“Wahai Nabi! katakanlah kepada isteri-isterimu, anak-anak perempuanmu dan isteri-isteri orang Mukmin, ‘Hendaklah mereka mengulurkan jilbabnya.” [Al-Ahzab (33):59]

Apakah makna jilbab itu?

Dalam kitab Al-Mu’jam Al-Wasith karya Dr Ibrahim Anis [Kaherah: Darul Maarif ms 128], jilbab diertikan sebagai ats-tsaubul musytamil ala al-jasadi kullihi (pakaian yang menutupi seluruh tubuh), atau ma fauqa ats-tsiyab kal milhafah (pakaian luar yang dikenakan di atas pakaian rumah, seperti milhafah (seperti jubah), atau al-mula’ah asy-tamilu biha al-mar’ah (pakaian luar yang digunakan untuk menutupi seluruh tubuh wanita).

Berdasarkan pengertian ini, jelaslah bahawa yang diwajibkan ke atas wanita adalah mengenakan pakaian yang satu (sekeping) yang lurus dari atas hinggalah ke bawah, yakni hingga ke mata kaki.

Maksud milhafah/mula’ah (Arab) adalah pakaian yang dikenakan sebagai pakaian luar [di dalamnya masih ada pakaian dalam i.e pakaian rumah atau pakaian sehari-hari tetapi bukan hanya coli dan seluar dalam] lalu diulurkan ke bawah hingga menutupi kedua mata kakinya.

Untuk pakaian atas, wanita disyariatkan (diwajibkan) memakai khimar iaitu tudung atau apa sahaja bahan/kain yang serupa dengannya yang berfungsi menutupi seluruh kepala, leher, dan lubang leher baju di dada.

Wajib memakai tsaub (pakaian), di samping jilbab

Tsaub ialah ‘pakaian di rumah’ iaitu pakaian yang dipakai oleh wanita di hadapan mahramnya semasa berada dalam hayatul khassah (kehidupan khusus) tatkala tiada lelaki ajnabi (lelaki asing) di dalamnya.

Dalil mengapa wajib mengenakan tsaub di dalam jilbab ialah berdasarkan firman Allah:

“Dan perempuan-perempuan tua yang telah terhenti (dari haidh dan mengandung) yang tiada ingin berkahwin (lagi), tiadalah atas mereka dosa menanggalkan pakaian (tsiyab) mereka, dengan tidak bertujuan mendedahkan perhiasan mereka.” [TMQ An-Nur (24):60].

Ayat ini membenarkan wanita yang telah putus haid dan tiada keinginan berkahwin menanggalkan atau melepaskan pakaian (tsaub).

Ini bermakna, jika tiada ‘pakaian’ di dalam jilbab, bermakna wanita yang telah putus haid berkenaan akan berbogel, walhal berbogel tidak dibolehkan.

Justeru, tsaub adalah ‘pakaian dalam’ (pakaian rumah) yang wajib dipakai oleh Muslimah di samping jilbab (pakaian luar) di dalam hayatul am atau di dalam hayatul khas tatkala ada lelaki ajnabi.

Adapun sifat-sifat jilbab/pakaian wanita adalah sebagai berikut:

1. Menutup seluruh badan, kecuali bahagian yang boleh dibuka.
Allah berfirman:

وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ

"Dan janganlah mereka (wanita-wanita beriman) menampakkan perhiasan mereka kecuali yang (biasa) nampak dari mereka. Dan hendaklah mereka menutupkan kain kudung ke dada mereka." [QS. 24:31]

Allah melarang wanita menampakkan perhiasannya, kecuali yang biasa nampak. Tentang perhiasan yang biasa nampak, maka ada dua penafsiran ulama:

a) Pakaian yang dikenakan. Ini pendapat Ibnu Mas’ud.

b) Wajah dan dua telapak tangan. Ini merupakan pendapat sahabat: Aisyah, Ibnu Umar, dan Ibnu Abbas. Juga merupakan pendapat Ibnu Jarir, Al-Baihaqi, Adz-Dzahabi, Al-Qurthubi, Ibnul Qoththon, Al-Albani.

Dan ini pendapat yang lebih kuat, kerana merupakan amal yang berlaku pada banyak wanita di zaman Nabi dan setelahnya. (Jilbab Mar’atil Muslimah, hal: 41, 51, 52, 59).

Dengan demikian wanita muslimah wajib menutupi seluruh tubuhnya, kecuali wajah dan telapak tangan.

Menutup wajah wanita tidaklah wajib, namun bukanlah perbuatan yang berlebihan, bahkan hal itu merupakan keutamaan, kerana dilakukan oleh isteri-isteri Nabi dan sebahagian sahabat wanita di zaman itu dan setelahnya.

Sheikh Nasaruddin al-bani berkata: "Lebih utama dan lebih mulia bagi wanita untuk menutup wajah."

2. Bukan merupakan perhiasan.

Tujuan perintah berjilbab adalah untuk menutupi perhiasan. Kalau jilbab/pakaian itu sendiri dihiasi, dengan renda dan pelbagai aksesori, warna-warni yang menarik pandangan orang, maka ini termasuk “tabarruj” yang terlarang. Allah berfirman:

وَلاَ يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ

"Dan janganlah para wanita mukminat itu menampakkan perhiasan mereka." [QS. 24:31]

Allah juga berfirman:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلاَ تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ اْلأُوْلَى

"Dan hendaklah kamu tetap di rumahmu dan janganlah kamu tabarruj." [QS. 33:33]

Tabarruj artinya perbuatan wanita yang menampakkan perhiasannya, keindahan-keindahannya, dan segala yang wajib ditutupi, yang berupa perkara-perkara yang mendorong syahwat laki-laki”. (Jilbab Mar’atil Muslimah, hal:120)

Oleh kerana itulah jika keluar rumah, hendaklah wanita memakai pakaian yang berwarna gelap, tidak menyala dan berwarna-warni sehingga akan menarik pandangan orang.

Wallahu'alam.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trailer Tale

Remember the "Undilah" trailer recently aired over Astro? (see trailer, one of many, here)

The video footage had a gaggle of personalities, from politican Tengku Razaleigh to thespian Adflin Shauki, author Dina Zaman, MP Khalid Samad, Air Asia head honcho Tony Fernandez and many many more (even that unpalatable rabblerouser Namewee was included),  exhorting the likes of you and I (especially the liat, "can't be bothered" ones, of course) to register as voters.

Fine and well, I say. After all the trailer is about persuading those among us who have yet to register as voters, to do so.

Frankly, I loathe those who have a lot to say about the state of governance in this country, but have never exercised their civic duty to help determine the future of our nation.

It's like a confirmed bachelor or lifelong spinster dishing out advice on how to raise children to exasperated parents of boisterous kids.
  
[For the record, I have been exercising my right as a voter without fail since the late '70s, right from the time I reached the age of consent to vote. But I digress...]

Among the many people featured holding aloft a placard/board proclaiming "Undilah" in the trailer is an old Malay woman (you can't really miss her; she's the only elderly Makcik in there).

I recognised her as a neighbour, a retired teacher, unmarried, who speaks with a thick Kedah slang and lives above us here at the condo.

I had been meaning to rib the pleasant, soft-spoken, diminutive former cikgu about it, but opportunity only presented itself this morning when we shared a lift ride.

Said she: "Ya, I have been told I appeared holding a card of some sort in the video. But you know, I never did although it was me alright."

Eh?

"I was in a shop somewhere, Bangsar rasanya, when someone approached me suruh angkat tangan gitu, so I did lah. I didn't know they were going to edit a placard into it; not that it matters.."

So I said to her: "Waah, so trusting lah you, Auntie. What if they edit the video and put a board that says "Lesbian, and Loving It!" in your hand? Tak ker haru!" ...

She gave me a throaty scream.. what a sweet, sweet old lady... :-D

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Conspirators

Awang Jules: "Go away with your camera, Ma! I wanna take a nap and you're startling me!"

Lillie: "Enough of FBing and your endless Mandarin song practice, Ma. Humour me!"

Awang: "Let's give the old woman our muka kesian. Who knows, she may just fall for it and feed us again. In the mean time, let's lanyak her bed nice and proper, shall we, Lil?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Undersea Angels @ One Utama

For this year's Yuletide centrepiece One Utama goes undersea, with plump, pretty angels nestled among bright and shining multi-coloured corals and pristine white shells.

Whimsical and charming, it's a pleasant departure from the usual humongous fake pine laden with baubles, streamers, lights and other sparklies.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Buku Time

"The most delicious, depraved, inventive, macabre and hilarious literary debut I can think of... More , I want more!" Stephen Fry

"Redolent of soft leather chairs in fine gentlemen's establishments, and the cracking of whips in the basements beneath them. Perniciously addictive." Guardian

"It is easy to imagine Oscar Wilde, on a chaise longue smoking an absurdly expensive cigarette, reading The Vesuvius Club and laughing out loud at its playful decadence and wit. There can surely be no higher praise." Times Literary Supplement 

Now, with blurbs like these, who wouldn't be tempted to rush a purchase and speed home to savour it?  I did, but it look me two long years before I could actually finish it.



I plunged into the book almost immediately upon buying it in December 2009. For some reasons, I just couldn't get past the first chapter. Something felt missing between the pages.

After a few tries, I gave up and abandoned the book altogether, consigning it to the upper shelf, where it languished until I spied upon it once again a fortnight ago. 

Determined to give it another try, I took it down, dusted it and began again. Strangely enough, there was renewed zest as I settled into the storyline. 

It was such a refreshing departure from my usual true-life crime & mystery, murder & mayhem staple. I'm glad I did what I did. A great read The Vesuvius Club turned out to be. ..  


Went to Borders at The Curve last week to check out new offerings from Stephen King and Jonathan Kellerman, and found these two.

I'm long done with "Mystery". Loved the many twists and turns. Pak Abu, who reads only at bedtime, is still plodding along with "Full Dark, No Stars"..


A month ago, found this one nestled amongst my Haruki Murakamis. Don't know whose book it is and how it got there; I know for sure it's not mine. if I were to hazard a guess, it could be son Naj's (have yet to ask him), for that's his kind of read.

Not one to pass up a chance of reading a feebie, I settled into the book, which recounted the motorbike travels of two good friends, actor Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fame) and fellow actor Charley Boorman. 

It's a fascinating and entertaining travel book about two bikers chasing their shadows through Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America.  

Two middle-class Brits roughing it out on the Steppes and in Siberia, being offered boiled sheep head in a Mongolian yurt (as honoured guests they had to dig out the eyes and eat them, a delicacy as it were)... Commendable read..
  


Books waiting to be read... hope it's not going to be a two-year wait like The Vesuvius Club.... :-) 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Selamat Tahun Baru Hijrah 1433


KAMA & KELUARGA MENGUCAPKAN SELAMAT MENYAMBUT AWAL MUHARRAM KEPADA SEMUA PEMBACA BLOG "KATA KAMA" YANG DIHORMATI. SEMOGA ALLAH SWT MERESTUI HIDUP KITA.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A 'Retro' Wedding

A Vespa on the dais next to the pelamin makes the setting so charmingly 'retro'.


When Yaya Weds Yeep
Weddings, a gathering of kith and kin near and far. These are folks you don't get to see much otherwise due to the demands of everyday life. But come weddings, they would dutifully turn up to partake the celebrations and renew old ties.

It was full house at the wedding of Yaya (Puteri Ernie Suraya), youngest daughter of my eldest brother Megat Yusof, and her beau Yeep (Sharifudin) in Gombak two weeks back, after a year-long engagement (story here).

Yaya's a final-year student of multimedia at a local university. In the indie music circle, however, she's better known as the singer-composer-guitarist who frontlines indie band Static Emily. Yeep's an engineer with a local firm.

Yaya's the last of her dad's lot to get married. I'm sure both he and wife Sarah must be heaving a big sigh of relief. To Yaya and Yeep, Selamat Pengantin Baru from Mak Yong Kama and family. Cepat tambah cucu Abah & Ibu!

My nieces Puteri Davina and Puteri Arieshah, elder daughters of my brother Megat Muzaffar... Next in line.. ?

The bride's nieces (my teenage grandnieces) living it up in '50s tog. They later put up a musical show with the band in attendance.

The siblings (from left): Fouzi, Kama, Yusof. Phew, aren't we oh so chubby...

Father of the bride (flanked by his sisters Idah, Izah and Kama), masuk 'spital for breathing difficulties. He had neglected his sneezes and coughs for three weeks so as not to interrupt his daughter's wedding preparations.

Turned out he had bronchitis and water in the lungs. Tak pasal-pasal jadi tetamu kehormat Hospital Ampang Puteri for four days. Thank God he's on the road to recovery.
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bradley


Absolutely adorable Bradley Yip Kuppusamy, all three months of him, came a-visiting his 'Nana Puteri' over the weekend. It was Bradley and Nana's very first meeting since his birth.

That's my cutiepie latest 'cucu' Bradley in the arms of his proud daddy, my adopted son Dinesh. Bradley's mom, Rachel, was away on a flight (she's with the national carrier).

Dinesh and my eldest son Naj have been best buddies since childhood and the friendship has endured to this day. The boy grew up before my eyes, and now he has presented me with a child of his own... 

May you one day be a good, responsible, loving man just like your dad, Bradley. And always remember, Nana loves you very much...

PS: I kept telling Dinesh how auspicious the name 'Bradley' is to me, for the simple reason that my late (maternal) grandfather hailed from Kuala Krai where the famous Tangga Bradley is.

This well-known local landmark has been renamed Tangga Krai since the '80 but to oldies like me, Tangga Bradley it will always be. 

For a bit of Tangga Bradley history, please read here. I have sat on these very steps once, as a child of five or six, on my one and only trip to visit my late grandfather's hometown.

Tangga Bradley leading down to Sungai Kelantan


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Straight From The Heart


Apologies are due for the apparent neglect of this blog. The knots in my life are unraveling, for the good of all concerned, I hope. 

To be frank, I have been fighting a lot of personal demons lately, that writing had somehow become a chore and not the passion it used to be.

I'd like to say (and believe) that I'm back on an even keel. Let's just hope the statement is the whole unadulterated truth, for the sake of sanity and peaceful existence.

There really is no need to elaborate; suffice to say there are times in one's life when one has to take stock of what ails one's relationship with the people closest to one's heart.

Reality check is important to keep such relationships intact. The channels of communication should always remain open. No one is better than the other and everyone have equal rights to be heard. 

My dearest wish is that with the end of 2011, a closure of sorts will prevail and that 2012 will begin with hopes anew and love afresh. I reckon that is not too much to ask ..... 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Post-Raya Blues..

The head throbs a bit. Still able to function normally, though (boleh blogging lagi :-D); the consequences of having  one cupcake too many yesterday, polishing off the icing as well. I think I'm a sucker for punishment.

And for the first time in, well, a very long time, woke up groggy, with an aching back, and worst of all, at almost 7 am terlajak big time for subuh prayers (dang!)

I wish I could smother the fajar merah in the distant horizon with an eraser to push back time. Missing the first prayer of the day is so upsetting, even with the kadho provision..

What made it worse was the realisation that nobody hissed bangun! in my ears, or yanked the blanket off, or tickled the sole of my feet this time. What has happened to 'the keeper' or did I tidur mati?

On a more cheerful note, yesterday was a busy one; the earliest visitors arrived at noon and last guests left around 11pm. Pooped but happy with the turnout, I was.


Nasi dagang's turn this year, as authentic as it could possibly be with gulai ikan aya (with loads of cili padi) and acar timun


Couldn't leave kuzi ayam out of the menu even if I wanted too. But no nasi minyak this time, instead kuzi was eaten with milk bread sprinkled with sesame seeds. 


Serunding daging paired off with lemang and ketupat pulut; a perennial favourite in the Abu household...


For dessert there's english trifle (cupcakes arrived later in the afternoon). As one guest puts it: "The trouble with trifle is that it looks nice and inviting before you dig your spoon into it. The moment you do, it collapses into a pile of mishmash.." Well, at least it's still a delish mash..eheh..


Thank you to our guests for gracing our home with your presence and syukur syukur syukur Alhamdulillah for the bountiful food when some of us elsewhere in the world were not so fortunate...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Selamat Eid Adha


Kami sekeluarga mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha kepada semua pembaca yang di hormati, khusus Muslimin dan Muslimat di mana jua berada. Semoga kita semua sentiasa di lindungi Allah swt.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Singing Spook..

If you are into karaokeing, do take heed whenever you feel like letting your hair down, alone or with the gang, at some karaoke joint.

Try not to be by yourself. Always have someone to keep you company, even if the person doesn't sing. A solo crooner in a darkened room is receipe for disaster, believe me.

It gave me the heebie jeebies when my daughter Ann related this tale over lunch today. Eeee, the hairs on my neck still prick....

Ann and her gang occasionally de-stress at karaoke lounges, if they don't bungee jump or parasail or scuba-dive, or do some other physically lasak activities, that is. 

She told the story of a friend's aunt who recently went singing with three friends at a well-known karaoke joint in town.

They decided to call it a day after a few hours and rang for the bill. To their annoyance, they were charged for five persons instead of four.

The management insisted there were five people in the group. They stood their ground and refused to pay for the extra person.

To prove their case, the management showed them CCTV footage of the room. There were indeed five people; the four friends and a long-haired woman dressed in white, sitting next to one of them with her head bowed, swaying from side to side to the beat of the music!

The four friends were spooked speechless. I think it will be quite a while before they pluck up enough courage to go there again, if ever. Talk about creepy karaoke ...

[previous posting on spooky k-lounge here...]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Antara Anyir dan Jakarta, it's Seoul..


Like they say, one can only plan...

I was looking forward to making that planned trip to Jakarta with my sisters Saturday last, to attend the wedding of our niece Miranda (from our Indonesian side of the family).

Somehow, the unexpected cropped up. Firstly, the package that the agency had worked out for us was a bit on the high side.

That put me off a bit, because I knew there were cheaper alternatives and I didn't want to be hasty when the difference was quite substantial just by switching carriers. 

Then one sister opted out because her granddaughter suddenly got sick. Thankfully, little Zura has recovered from her viral infection, after a week-long hospital stay.  

Another sister decided she wasn't going to leave her young ones to battle their year-end exams sans Mak, even if Mak's mind was already feasting on the batik textiles of Tanah Abang.

It's the moral support thingy, if you wish, and I certainly didn't want to share the burden of her guilt as well, as we gallivanted in good old Plaza Senayan... :-))

Yet another sister (the ever-practical one) decided, in one stroke, that "If you guys are going to take forever to decide, I'm off... to Korea!" And so she did!

That's how I end up with the pretty decorative plate above. Made of porcelain, the gild-edged plate shows a Korean woman in hambok playing the samisen.  

정말 감사합니다 (kamsa-ham-nee-daa/thank you) sis Hanizah, for your thoughtfulness. It's truly a charming piece and I love it..

As for the Jakarta trip, we're rescheduling to November end. Never mind the kenduri, although I would have loved to see how they do weddings over there.

The proposed trip will be to ziarah Mir's grandma, our aunt Ibu Khadijah, who's now in her 80s and judging by pictures, rather frail. Pray that the planned visit will materialise.

As it were, the postponed jaunt saw me getting a copywriting and translation job instead. Ah, rezeki comes in so many different ways, syukur alhamdulillah. Thank you Kay for trusting me with your project. Much appreciated, that.

Monday, October 31, 2011

"The Strangers: Road To Jannah" Islamic Youth Camp



The Al-Khaadem Annual Youth Camp is back.

Themed The Strangers: Road To Jannah, the camp will be held from Dec 7th to 11th, 2011 at a well-known camping site along the historic Sungai Perak.  

Al-Khaadem, a brief introduction:

Pertubuhan Al-Khadeem is a charity-based Islamic NGO founded in 1984 by well-known Hadith scholar, Al-Ustaz Haji Hussein Yee. He was born and raised a Buddhist but embraced Islam at 18, upon which he pursued studies at the University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, majoring in Hadith.

He returned home and joined Perkim, an organisation that looks after the well-being of new converts, upon his graduation in 1978. Six years later, with a group of like-minded friends, Ustaz Hussein embarked on the Pertubuhan Al-Khaadem project.

The aim was to foster a peaceful and harmonious existence between mankind regardless of race, colour or creed. Al-Khaadem means 'Serving Mankind' and it was established to reflect Islam's compassion and to do charity work among the underprivileged and the needy.

Headquartered in Kampung Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya, Al-Khadem is run by volunteers. [My posting on last year's camp is here].

Al-Khaadem Youth Camp 2011
The Strangers: Road To Jannah

[The following information is taken from Al-Khaadem's blog here)

Organized by the youth, for the youth under the spirit of Islam, Al-Khaadem’s Youth Camp is an annual event for the young generation from diverse backgrounds, cultures and races to come together under the banner of Islamic brotherhood.

It's an escape to the outdoors where they will engage in exciting physical activities, thought provoking modules and programs structured to instill Islamic values and develop responsible and capable characters.

The event aims to go beyond the average ‘Islamic summer camp’ detail by offering a platform for the youth to express and develop their individual characters under the mentorship of senior Al-Khaadem Youth members.

The bonds developed during the camp will be maintained after the event for the participants to continue their development at the same time getting themselves involved with charity and da’wah works organized by Al-Khaadem.

Al-Khaadem’s Youth Camp 2011 will be held at the exotic Sungai Perak camping site which boasts a 400KM long river. It is open to all age 12 years and above.

If your child is below the required minimum age but would like to join the Camp, please let us know for our ruling is not rigid and we do make exceptions on a case to case basis .  

Participants will be engaging in exciting water programs such as kayaking and water games, as well as challenging outdoor activities such as jungle trekking, night-walks and flamming ball!

Apart from the outdoor activities, throughout the camp participants will be required to complete Islamic development modules designed to instill important Islamic lessons and knowledge into their individual characters as well as to develop self-confidence and critical thinking skills.

Camp participants will also be divided into groups and allocated different roles within their group and the groups will then compete with each other to attain the Youth Camp 2011 grand prize.

This will cultivate leadership and role playing skills as well as to train participants the concept of team building and strengthening bonds of brotherhood outside the camp.

The activities and modules are organized and facilitated by experienced and trained members from the Al-Khaadem Youth, under the guidance and supervision of Sheikh Hussain Yee himself.

“The Strangers: Road to Jannah”

In an authentic hadith, Rasullullah sallahu ‘alaihi wsalam said:

“Islaam began as something strange and it will return to how it began as something strange. So glad tidings of Paradise to the strangers”

The people then asked, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He sallahu ‘alaihi wsalam answered, “Those who are pious and righteous when the people (around them) have become evil.” [Sahih, Imam Ahmad and others]

Al-Khaadem’s Youth Camp this year is themed at educating the youth on the importance of adhering to the teachings of Islam when the society or surrounding environment dictates otherwise.

The importance of understanding the responsibility of carrying the standard of Islam and the challenges the Muslim Youth must face in today’s world has to be educated to the young generation of our Ummah.

All of the modules and case studies will focus on providing the solutions as well as to motivate the youth to be proud of the teachings of Islam and to carry the banner of Islam towards the future.

Speaker's profile:

Sheikh Hussain Yee:

He is the founder and the President of Al-Khaadem organization, born into a Buddhist family and later embraced Islam at the age 18 in 1968.

He received his formal Islamic education in Madinah and Syria, and also attended lectures by renowned Scholars such as Bin Baz and Nasiruddin Al-Albani (Mercy of Allah upon them).

He is a well known personality in the international circuit of Da’wah, giving regular lectures across the globe and appearances in Islamic Channel UK, IERA, Peace TV and many more.

A soft spoken and humble character, he brings with him the wealth of knowledge on Islam and experience in the field of Da’wah for the young generation to learn and be inspired.

Register Now, Contact us!
T: +6 03 7726 4146
M: +6 014 669 0196
E: akyouthcamp@gmail.com

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kayden Turns 2

It was Kayden Stewart's second birthday and Chicky The Chook was there in his blood red, wobbly rose comb glory, to help celebrate. The venue: KFC Subang Parade.

Am I alone or do you feel it too? The irony, I mean; considering it was The Chook's deep-fried kin that we feasted on at the party.

Any which way, it's thumbs up to KFC's new tomyam flavour. I guess the revised KFC mantra (almost always chanted by Bangla staff) must be "Original, Spicy or Tomyam?"

Kayden is cucu number 2 of my sister Zaridah's 3 grandkids. He was born two years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, to her daughter Amilda and husband Gary.

Happy birthday Kayden! Come claim your present on Hari Raya day at Opah Kama's house okay? (kes tak sempat beli hadiah..)

Kayden in mom's arms while Chicky the Chook drools at the mouth-watering fare.

Birthday Cake I - can't remember who contributed this...

Pak Abu (in red tee) sportingly participating in the musical chair game but declined to pop the balloons with his ample derriere. Needless to say, he lost to the kiddies..

Birthday Cake II - I think this cute orange Leo (ice cream cake) is from Kayden's Uncle Zack..

Three of the five pilots in the family. From left: my nephew Athari, nephew-in-law Faizal and another nephew, Aizuddin. Not in the picture: Athari's dad Atan (who was too busy eating) and Aizuddin's dad Hisham (away on a flight).


Even more cakes! Looking at all these gives me sugar rush...

Karaoke Finds A Home...

Karaoke diehards of The Royal Lake Club of Kuala Lumpur finally got a dedicated lounge to call their own last night - thanks to years of ceaseless pleadings, cajolings, petitions as well as well-timed indignant outbursts [read berating the sitting Board at AGMs to make them feel guilty .... :-)]

The lounge is located at the old building, taking part of the space of erstwhile Bunga Raya Chinese restaurant which has been shifted to the main lobby for easier accessibility due to high traffic.

The one-time restaurant is now home to the club gymnasium, aerobics room and karaoke lounge (with two private rooms attached).

We gave the spanking new AV system a go last night. Everyone agreed it needed a bit of fine-tuning.  

Frankly, the old system at the theatrette has more 'ooomph'. Hope they'll do the needful pronto since the place is operational as of today.

Operation has been extended to six days a week (closed Mondays) as opposed to the previous three. There is a full-time DJ now, with a stand-in whenever required.

Another bit of cheerful news is that F&B service is now available within the lounge, eliminating the need to bring our own bottled drinks (food was strictly off-limits in the theatrette). 

A waiter is on hand during operation hours while drinks and finger foods can be ordered from the Poolside Terrace cafe and Tokyu Tengu Japanese restaurant next door.

Best of all, there's a new lift installed especially for karaoke patrons, in particular the senior citizens.

Heck, almost all of us diehards are SCs! I certainly find climbing up the many flights of stairs taxing on my wonky knees.

The lift is located on the ground floor facing the mini fountain underneath the staircase leading up to the swimming pool.

Finally having a place to call 'home' no doubt soothes the frayed nerves of long-suffering Lake Club karaoke fans.

They had suffered the indignity of being shunted from place to place within the club for umpteenth years, with all kinds of lame excuses ranging from no space to no budget to no priority..

The lounge's new system is fully computerised and song selection is up-to-date. However, members can still bring their own discs (but originals only, to avoid future legal entanglements re copyright issue).

Some 50 members, mostly karaoke regulars, turned up for the official opening last night by Club President, Dato Ir A. Sani Karim. Due to space constraint, the organisers were unable to invite more.

General Committee members too were there in full force. Thank you guys for the support..


Dato' President chipping at the ice block to reveal (and subsequently sign) the plaque. 

A mean crooner himself, Dato' Sani started the ball rolling with perennial favourite "My Way."

Yours truly staking a claim on the limited number of chairs.. 

There's a grinning Leona with the V sign..  

Charges (for the private rooms) are pretty reasonable. Lounge singing, as before, is FoC (i.e. no cover charge) but is strictly for members, while the private rooms are for both members and their guests...

All things considered, we are pleased our pressuring efforts have finally borne fruit...